The Imperative of Repentance
Begin Here, Remain Here (1)
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and thento the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” Acts 26.19, 20
The deepest need
Many Christians today believe that saving faith – full faith – consists of hearing, responding to, and continuing in the hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved,” they explain. Just believe, and keep believing in the hope of forgiveness and eternal life.
From this perspective, all we have to do in trying to reach others for Christ is put Jesus before them in a way that scratches their itch – whatever that might be – and some of them will come to Him and find a home in our midst. Are they lonely? Jesus is a friend and comforter. Do they lack a purpose in life? He is their guide. Are they filled with guilt and shame? He forgives and renews.
You just have to find out where people are hurting, then show them Jesus accordingly. Not everyone will believe, of course, but some will, and these are the folks we’re trying to reach.
The Gospel, in such a scenario, is all about making Jesus appealing so that anyone looking for “something more” in life might find in Him the satisfaction of their deepest needs.
But what if people don’t know what their deepest need is? Or what if their deepest need is something they refuse to consider? Or don’t even understand? What if their deepest need is just the kind of thing that churches today seem increasingly reluctant to talk about?
What if their deepest need has to do with sin?
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